Keeping our neighborhoods clean not only provides aesthetic and financial benefits, it also greatly improves our overall quality of life. Every year, the Metro Codes Department processes thousands of property standards violations for everything from dilapidated structures to high grass and weeds. In some of these cases, the property owner is elderly, disabled, or financially unable to make the required repairs to their property to make them Code compliant. However, the Metro Code does not take into account financial or physical hardship, and some of these property owners may end up in environmental court because of these issues.
Property standards should be about improving the community, not hurting its most vulnerable members. That’s why the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods works with Metro Public Works, Metro Codes, and Hands On Nashville to empower neighborhoods and community leaders to help their neighbors in need to clean up or fix up their properties instead of taking them to court.
To accomplish this goal, the Neighbors Organized to Initiate Code Enforcement (NOTICE) program that was originally designed to train neighborhood associations on how to find and report property standards violations has evolved into a program that encourages communities to help neighbors fix problems on their property. Objectives of the program include:
- Assisting elderly, disabled, or indigent residents in cleaning up the exterior or residential areas
- Instilling a sense of community in the neighborhood
- Helping to stem blight
- Fostering community involvement in the upkeep of the community
Neighborhood and community organizations who want to lend a helping hand to their neighbors in need of assistance can use this toolkit provided through Hands on Nashville to identify projects and organize volunteers in a safe and efficient way.
Is there a neighbor in your community that could benefit from the NOTICE program? Reach out to Eben Cathey at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about NOTICE and how you can support your neighbors.
Unsure about what constitutes a property standards violation? Check out this video produced by the Metro Nashville Network which shows some common problems in neighborhoods throughout Davidson County.